Friday, 21 August 2009

Holiday Supplement


A day at Walberswick on the Suffolk coast. Reached down winding lanes across the sandy heaths or by a rowing boat ferry from the Southwold shore, this is rapidly becoming a Daily Telegraph reading version of The Hamptons, that playground of the wealthy middle class in north east America. So reminiscent of Edward Hopper paintings with stark bright light, hard shadows and black weatherboarded orange pantiled buildings next to the River Blyth outfall. Everything crying out to be recorded in paint or pixels. Out on The Flats, children (including mine) let string down from a wooden bridge parapet over a tidal creek to catch little crabs with bacon bait. We used washing tablet net bags weighted with pebbles. Caught many, landed few. If I was a crab I'd lay up in a bed of samphire until the evening. Girls walk by on the beach discussing gap years on tiny mobiles, fathers start to relax in big navy blue shorts and mothers fret about the unsuitable boys their sons have brought down for the summer. Bright pinpoints of light sparkle on the water, shouts of pleasure are carried off like seagull cries on the breeze. I sit in the marram grass of the dunes keeping an eye on Youngest Boy as he crests the smaller waves and shouts something unspeakable to his brother. My boot catches something buried deep in the warm sand- a torn piece of rusted metal like a shapeless sea monster that goes straight into my bag. I like it here.

7 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Great post. I want to go. Now.

Sue said...

Mmmmmm....I'm there! Lovely piece of writing.

Jon Dudley said...

Absolutely vintage Ashley! One of my favourite places on the East Coast captured word-perfect. Thankyou. Do pop into the Sailors Reading Room at Southwold whilst you're in that neck of the woods and put a few pence into the mission tin!

Diplomate said...

marvelous - carry on

CMS said...

More pics please!! Love the rhythm of your labels on this post too!

Toby Savage said...

I know the bridge. I caught crabs there....

Lovely post Peter.

Martin H. said...

Beautiful, evocative writing.... almost makes your lovely photographs redundant.
I want to be there too.
Never mind, trip to the Peak District on the horizon.